The 2014 Free Press Summer Fest, or FPSF as it’s known to the locals, is in the books. It’s not that I’m cheap (well, maybe a little), but at my age, I can’t see myself paying for a 2 day pass when in reality, I would just want a taste of the event and maybe see a couple of the shows in the evening when I don’t have to worry about the blazing sun, mud, and drunks. That’s why I decided to just take a little urban hike on the other side of the bayou where they have the new walking and bike paths just to see if I could soak in any of the FPSF activities. To my surprise, the Mars Stage was easily visible and I got a chance to see and photograph Childish Gambino.
If you look at the above picture, you’ll probably think “damn! that was really up close!” but no, it wasn’t THAT close. This was taken with the 400mm end of the 80-400mm lens. Below is the actual view. As you can see, I wasn’t alone in that. Sometimes people just want to go out, listen to some live music and not be hassled with wrist bands, security going through their things, being forced to buy water (or drinking nasty water fountain water), etc. This was just perfect.
Myself, I like the challenge of getting pictures that others don’t get. Sure, it would be nice to have a media pass (hey FPSF, give me a pass for next year!) , but where is the challenge in that? I had to move from my initial spot down here, to find the best spot I could. Ironically, I have read that after the rain delay on Saturday, many photographers who had photo passes could not go back to the shows so that’s another reason to enjoy standing on public property to take pictures.
On Sunday, I went to see Jack White. I actually would have loved to be able to pay just to see him alas, that’s not how FPSF works. This time, I picked a different “free” spot and again, I was not alone. The weather was nice and it’s a public park and trail so many other people were there enjoying the free show. I brought my camera and long lens too so in my world, I got far more than I would have, even if I had paid as they don’t allow “pro” cameras in the show. Supposedly this year they allow detachable lenses, but I’m sure my camera wouldn’t have been allowed anyway.
If there is a better way to watch a show, I haven’t found it. Here are my two favorite pictures. Since I never signed any contracts and I was on public property I am not subject to any of FPSF’s draconian copyright grab rules and these are my pictures and I own the copyrights 100% so absolutely no reproduction without written permission is allowed. I read on the FPSF site that any pictures people took could be used in social media by FPSF. Being free on public land just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter.
Overall, it was a nice night to be out and about. I didn’t stay for the whole show because again, I just wanted a taste of the event, but I’m pleased with the results.
Not sure how this will be in the 2015 FPSF, but if you’re reading this because you’re bummed that you don’t have tickets, do a little research and you might just get a glimpse.